By: Stewart White - Whiteworks
Kanzi it is the new kid on the block - Kanzi apples - a natural cross between Gala and Braeburn.
But in the Australian agbusiness world, there is a story behind the crunch - and crunchy they are. Kanzis can be deafeningly crunchy and embarrassingly juicy. I was told to shut up when eating a Kanzi during a teleconference - and had a puddle of juice pool around my elbow at the end of the call.
There is more to it than a new variety of apple that has enormous taste appeal, and it is a story that is playing out all across the country in the apple growing regions of every state (grown in the Granite Belt in Qld)
What Kanzi has is something of the shape-of-things-to-come in agribusiness. It is a model that is the first of its kind in the apple industry to ensure its continued and consistent quality to consumers while ensuring value and return to farmers.
Australian farmers are doing it tough and there is no real relief in sight - they have to think outside the traditional square. As a licensed apple grown only by selected orchardists, Kanzi can sustain quality and pricing - something that other "commodity" apples that are available through cold storage etc all year round can't do. Did you ever consider when the apple you ate in December was harvested?
Grower groups in agribusiness have more control over their destiny in what is a cutthroat and volatile market. In this case the group can limit how many Kanzis are grown by setting tree numbers and ensuring strict quality and packing parameters. This builds and maintains value and ensures optimum quality to consumers. It ensures the market is not flooded and held in storage past their peak condition. Ultimately it ensures a better return to the growers to help offset offset the losses accrued through other commodity apples.
Each grower has their story.
While Kanzi is the world's most popular apple, it is still early days in Australia with only about 3-4 commercially large enough harvests to get fruit out to the masses, but it has everything going for it. The flavour profile, the crunch - Who wants a floury apple? - and the Kanzi system's adherence to global quality protocols to ensure consistent quality for consumers.
Kanzi currently has 629,000 trees in the ground with another 149,000 to be planted in 2019 and the final planting in 2020 - the first planting of 930 trees was in Manjimup in WA in 2007. The current national has matured sufficiently now to produce enough fruit to supply Australia. In fact 2019 looks like being its longest season.
Consumers like the Kanzi apple for its eye appeal and flavour and consistent quality. One of the significant points of difference is that when placed on the shelf, Kanzi stands out from other varieties with its natural high shine and distinctive bi-colour skin. Most importantly, when consumers buy them, the unique taste and crunch encourages repeat purchase.
If consumers like them - retailers like them, and that's what makes the world go round.
There's a lot behind the story of this Kanzi apple beyond it's taste and crunch. As the name Kanzi translates, it is a hidden treasure for both consumers and our farmers.